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Societal, Economic, Ethical and Legal Challenges of the Digital Revolution: From Big Data to Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Manipulative Technologies

  • Dirk HelbingEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In the wake of the on-going digital revolution, we will see a dramatic transformation of our economy and most of our societal institutions. While the benefits of this transformation can be massive, there are also tremendous risks to our society. After the automation of many production processes and the creation of self-driving vehicles, the automation of society is next. This is moving us to a tipping point and to a crossroads: we must decide between a society in which the actions are determined in a top-down way and then implemented by coercion or manipulative technologies (such as personalized ads and nudging) or a society, in which decisions are taken in a free and participatory way and mutually coordinated. Modern information and communication systems (ICT) enable both, but the latter has economic and strategic benefits. The fundaments of human dignity, autonomous decision-making, and democracies are shaking, but I believe that they need to be vigorously defended, as they are not only core principles of livable societies, but also the basis of greater efficiency and success.

“Those who surrender freedom for security (I would add “efficiency” or “performance” here as well) will not have, nor do they deserve, either one…”

Benjamin Franklin

Keywords

Manipulative Technologies Super-intelligent Machines FuturICT Planetary Nervous System Informational Self-determination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH ZurichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.TU DelftDelftNetherlands
  3. 3.Complexity Science HubViennaAustria

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